Getting an enviable flat stomach requires a healthy lifestyle that consists of a nutritious diet and a regular exercise program. However, if you don't like to exercise or simply don't have the time to commit to a regular routine at this time of your life, you can still achieve a flat tummy without exercise. Follow some general belly-flattening tips until you are able to commit to a healthy, sustainable exercise routine.
Monitor your caloric intake. In order to get a flat stomach, you will need to lose excess belly fat. Although it's not possible to spot-reduce fat, overall weight loss from the body will target trouble zones including the belly, waist, butt and thighs. To lose fat, you will need to consume fewer calories than you burn off through daily activities. According to MayoClinic.com, a pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. Aim to lose a safe 1 to 2 pounds a week by slashing 3,500 calories from your weekly diet, or 500 calories per day. Decrease portion sizes at mealtimes, cut out unnecessary snacking or replace high-fat foods with healthier alternatives.
Add in physical activity throughout your day whenever and wherever you can. You don't have to follow a structured exercise program to burn off calories during the day. Rather, simple everyday activities such as taking the stairs, walking to work, carrying groceries from the supermarket and even dancing can help you burn off calories and slim down your waistline for a flat belly. Isometric exercises, or exercises that contract muscles statically without lengthening, may also help improve your posture to give the appearance of a flatter tummy. Do an abdominal bracing exercise by tightening your abs as though you were bracing yourself for a punch to the gut. Hold for 10 seconds, relax and repeat 10 times.
Drink more water instead of sweetened beverages to lose weight and get a flat belly. Sugary drinks such as juices and soda pop can lead to weight gain from high caloric and sugar contents. Swap these drinks for water, which has no calories, no sugar and no fat to help slim down your belly for a flatter appearance. Drinking more water can help relieve water retention by flushing excess water out of the body. It can also assist in regulating the digestive system to deflate the belly by moving excess waste through the body for elimination. Water will also fill you up to prevent hunger cravings that cause you to overeat and gain excess weight. Aim to drink eight to 10 glasses of water a day or more depending on your individual needs.
- Consult with a medical professional prior to making any nutritional changes or following a weight-loss plan that could affect your health.
Jennifer Andrews specializes in writing about health, wellness and nutrition. Andrews has a Master of Science in physical therapy from the University of Alberta as well as a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. She teaches yoga and pilates and is a recent graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.